Knowing when you’ve outgrown your business software
Jo Tozer explains the signs that suggest you’ve outgrown your business solutions and software. What should you look out for? Successfully attracting new customers is the key to building your business and it’s always satisfying to see your hard work rewarded. Bringing in new business is also a good sign that your approach to the market […]
Jo Tozer explains the signs that suggest you’ve outgrown your business solutions and software. What should you look out for?
Successfully attracting new customers is the key to building your business and it’s always satisfying to see your hard work rewarded. Bringing in new business is also a good sign that your approach to the market is on the right track.
Developing relationships with new customers can take considerable time, energy and resources, but while this is important, it can often take priority over assessing whether your business has the right systems and processes in place to accommodate these customers, meet their needs and contribute to new growth.
Without the right digital solutions in place, your growing small business (that now finds itself becoming a medium-sized business) may struggle to not only manage new growth, but also to capitalise on opportunities such as productivity efficiencies, employee and customer connectivity, better commercial decision-making, and even the generation of new sales opportunities. In fact, research shows that businesses could also be missing out on a significant competitive advantage too. A Forrester Consulting study found that businesses using future-fit platforms and practices grow 3.2 times faster than their industry peers.
These challenges above can often pop up before you recognise what needs to change, but by knowing the signs that you’ve outgrown your business solutions and software, you’ll be able to save your business both time and money.
So, what do you need to look out for?
- Manual processes or data entry is becoming a barrier, and a risk
If your business still operates with elements of manual processes or data entry, not only is this likely taking up large chunks of time unnecessarily (and even more so, the bigger your business grows), but it’s also taking your employees away from doing jobs that are more productive for the business. According to a recent conducted for MYOB, local employees are wasting an average of 12.5 hours each week on manual or repetitive tasks due to ineffective digital solutions.
Not only is this severely impacting productivity levels – in turn impacting sales processes, time for business development and an inability to take on new projects – but outdated solutions that require constant manual input can also lead to multiple errors if an initial mistake isn’t spotted. So, if you’re spending too much of your time inputting data and fixing manual entries, it’s time to look at software that offers a modern solution, like an AI-powered cloud business platform.
- Lacking the real-time insights necessary to inform key business decisions
Data from your business management software should be able to provide you with immediate insights into how your business is performing and opportunities to improve. If you often find yourself ordering too much stock or not enough, are behind on work for clients when you thought you were ahead, or have less cashflow than forecast, your software may not be up to speed.
With updates to systems lagging and data often becoming delayed, it can be impossible to make informed and efficient business decisions. This could cost you time – or potentially even customers. Having access to accurate, real-time insights will change the way that you do business, for the better.
- Customer numbers are growing – and so is demand for your time/support
Successfully landing new customers is an exciting milestone and can create significant opportunities for expanding your business. However, if you’ve been relying on outdated business or people management systems that aren’t integrated, catering to this new business growth may not be possible or sustainable. What’s more, providing the right level of customer support and service could be at risk due to your software limitations.
This issue is not uncommon – in fact, some businesses are knowingly missing opportunities to grow their business simply because their systems can’t handle it. Insights from the ‘’ study conducted for MYOB by Forrester, revealed that more than three-in-five (63%) businesses across New Zealand and Australia admit their manual systems have held them back from taking on larger customers.
With a higher number of customer requests to manage, siloed systems that aren’t designed for your business needs will chew up valuable time. If your customer and project data is in one central location – e.g. a cloud-based integrated platform – you’ll be able to make better use of your time, easily keep customers updated, minimise the chance of errors, and improve response times to customer queries.
- Employee collaboration isn’t as strong or effective as it used to be
If your team used to work well together but have become more disconnected as your business grows, part of this may be down to your business management systems.
Outdated and siloed software can make it difficult for team members to share real-time updates or jump in to track the latest work-in-progress status. In comparison, a cloud-based system that streamlines tasks and allows for real-time employee collaboration across multiple projects, may be your business’s missing link to a more effective, connected, empowered, and productive team. This visibility also offers you more confidence that you’ve got the right people on the right projects as they progress.
- Operating from more locations but missing a single source of truth
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our ways of working, and now you might have some employees in the office, offsite, or even working from home. If an employee makes a sale, logs a new customer or project, or edits an important document, it’s important to have visibility of this as it happens. Double checking reports generated by your software systems, and then cross-referencing these with your employees, can create major productivity and accuracy issues – particularly when your business is growing.
If your team is struggling to access these insights or updates and your software isn’t offering the capability you need to do keep track successfully, it may be time to consider upgrading to an integrated end-to-end solution that offers instant, reliable insights and can be accessed by your team wherever they’re operating from.
Operating with the support of the right digital business management solution is essential to shoring up the success of a growing business. So, if recent developments mean your business is now dealing with more customers, more employees and more complexities, consider whether your current management platform/s support your present and future ambitions for your business as it enters the mid-market.
Jo Tozer is MYOB’s Head of Customer Services – Enterprise.
 Source: “Beyond Agility — Adaptive Enterprises Hold The Winning Hand,” Forrester Research, Inc. May 7, 2019.